Ethical Art – Bottles (plastic, glass and bottle tops)

I thought I would have a look at the many beautiful forms, from large structures to smaller decorative items, made from bottles. Plastic or glass. What a great way to recycle!

Firstly, I introduce to you the Glass Bottle House. I suppose recycling from found objects doesn’t get much more useful than this.

Bottle Houses have been around since the early 1900’s where bottles were used out of necessity due to the lack of timber.  In the little mining town of Ryolite, Nevada, where one of the oldest surviving bottle houses can be located,  there may have been no timber at the time but what there was in abundance were bottles left over from the local bars. In other parts of the world either due to artistic eccentricity or poverty, bottles remain an alternative building material to this day.

The argument continues whether this is a form of stained glass, but whatever the answer, there is no doubt that walls or buildings made out of bottles are truly spectacular.


Bottle House in Tinkertown, Mexico



I love this bottle roof, the light coming through is just beautiful.


An Artist’s Studio in New Zealand. Now I would just LOVE a studio like this!


New Zealand Public Toilet designed by the Austrian artist Hundertwasser uses whole bottles in the upright position.


The work of British artist Caroline Saul uses recycled plastic milk bottles to create beautiful organic sculptural vessels


So what  to do with all the bottle caps? A Chicago based artist – Mary Ellen Croteau has been playing around with plastic bottle caps to produce some lovely pieces of work.

I am always on the look out for cheap and innovative ways of using waste materials to make something of beauty out of the mundane. I love this simple idea of using plastic bottles to make a colourful outdoor lighting solution.


Another artist using the 20th century of found object assembly is David Edgar. He uses plastic detergent bottles to create colourful decorative sea creatures.




  1. Sharon Reply

    Please note that Tinkertown is not in Mexico, it is in New Mexico (USA).

    • Amanda

      Hi Sharon, thanks for pointing this out. I will ammend the post accordingly. Thanks again.

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